British Airways-The Worlds favourite Airline(not!!!)

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by muhandis89, Jul 18, 2007.

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  1. After many years of trying to avoid this airline,I was persuaded to use them for a quick trip to Washington DC(to Pentagon for a presentation).The journey went like this!

    aa.Go to a UK regional airport for journey to Heathrow to connect for BA flight to Washington.UK leg also by BA.Airport baggage handling equipment broken.Management called in but,because it was a weekend,they were not sure what they could do!! Chaos for many outbound flights.Due to BA cutbacks 2 staff try to process 190 people,on my flight.Flight leaves late,unsurprisingly.

    bb.Flight arrives at Heathrow.2 hours to transfer.Unfortunately no one could be found(for an hour) to connect the plane to the Heathrow Term1.Try to transfer from Term 1 to 4,missing Washington flight by 4 minutes.Decided to check my bags to Heathrow,rather than destination,due to 'problems' with BA baggage handling at Heathrow-ongoing!

    cc.Wait for another flight to Washington.By this time my journey has lasted 7 hours,from the time I entered the domestic terminal where the journey started.

    dd.Eventually get on a later flight to Washington.arrive there at 0100 hrs local time!

    ee.On return join the line at Wshington for 2 hour wait to book in.This problem probably caused by new baggage screening procedure.Crew also caught up in same line.One of the screeners asked the crew(all in uniform) which airline they worked for! Hilarious!!!

    ff.On plane and very quick journey back to Heathrow(6 hours 10 minutes,due to tail winds).Arrive at Heathrow stacking area early morning,fly arond in small circles above Kingston on Thames.being early is clearly as bad as being late.747 captain was a Frenchman(does BA have any 747 Brit captains left?).Hard landing eventually.Then await on runway for a door to become available(20 minutes).Get off to more chaos,broken lifts/walkways.We disembark at the outer reaches of terminal 4,of course,in what looks like a temporary structure.A lonely fan on wheels tries to cool the air!

    gg.Transfer to other terminals means more long lines of people,buses,more security checks on hand luggage,more broken lifts and walkways.Torn carpet secured by duck tape everywhere.Eventually come to immigration control.All staff mixed heritage(the new Home Office buzz word).woman wearing a full headscarf looks at me with some suspicion.I return the look.Welcome to UK!

    hh.More security checks.I manage to escape to front of Term 1,where I have a quick fag.All sorts of people tell me that there is 'no smoking' in front of terminal.The police in a couple of marked cars ignore my smoking however! Eventually get to my regional airport.Miracle of miracles,my bag checked at Washington arrives at the same time as I do,at said regional airport.

    Having been flown many times by RAF,I'm used to this type of air travel hassle.However the state of Heathrow,it's staff and equipment,is a national disgrace! What a welcome to foreign tourists.

    I shall now revert to travel via Schipol-an absolute pleasure,compared to this depressing experience.I've been to some third world airports,which put Heathrow in the shade.
  2. Our national motto should now read: "Careful now, its broken"
  3. Gave up flying with the Nigels (if you're wondering, ask a pilot what his name is) a few years ago after the Gate Gourmet debacle. Utter noshers who convey the impression that they're doing you a favour by letting you fly with them. Beardy Branson and the VS experience has been the airline of choice for me since.

    You were unfortunate in that you were flying into IAD, which is an utterly disorganized shitehole way outside DC. In future, if you have to change flights anyway, try and arrange a route to arrive at DCA (Reagan National). It handles almost exclusively domestic traffic (and a few flights from Canada) but you can be in the middle of town by taxi in about 10mins and the 5-sided wind tunnel on the Potomac is about 3-4 Metro stops away. I did a trip with Northwest from LGW to DCA via Detroit in June. The stopover in Detroit was MUCH less of a ball-ache (and quicker) than Dulles' immigration, customs, baggage claim and then the 45min drive into DC itself. (And FFS never, ever take the Supershuttle service run by the local Nigerians. They're ******* hopeless- they charged me a fuel surcharge and then I had to sit in the vehicle, at the terminal for the better part of an hour with the cnuting engine running the whole time.)
  4. Most of your issues seem to be with BAA ( The airport operator) rather than BA (the airline). In fact only the lack of check in staff: perhaps the thread title is a little misleading.

    The airports in the UK are not run by the Airline but by independent companies of which BAA is the largest and is the operator of Heathrow and several (but not all) of the Regional Airport.

    I would have thought that as Term 5 is opening soon at Heathrow, BAA are not spending on maintenance for the Terminals that are about to get a major going over with an upgrade program.

    Still, it is a shocking indictment of the UK service industry.
  5. No surprises there. On a BA flight to the far east with Mrs A_M the pilot kept the seatbelt lights on for over an hour after dinner. Mrs A_M reported that her bladder was about to explode and bring the plane down. Many others in the same situation made a dash for the toilets.

    One of the stewardesses made the following announcement "Here is a message for all passengers in economy class. I don't know how many times you people have to be told to sit down. If you break your necks, it'll be your own fault." (Presumably business and first class necks are made of stronger stuff).

    The stewardess then grabbed a passing American geriatric and threw her into the nearest seat.

    BA - it's like Aeroflot but without the charm or the vodka.
  7. I don't travel if the only way is with BA (Bloody Awful). I agree that BAA is just as bad.

    Regretably, both organizations sum up this country and I hate saying this but NOTHING WORKS.

    Travelling daily in London proves this and to think the idiot Livingstone is going to skin me financially because of the Olympics coming in 2012is hastening my plans to leave London and GB. Olympics! After years and years of 'practice' London Underground can't get 'Wimbledon' right, never mind the s*dding Olympics.
  8. If I could just mention a book I have finished reading called "Penguins stopped play".

    A. Bliddy Funny.
    B. Has a searing expose of what it takes to get a cricket team round the world with a "One World" airline operator. Yup you guessed it - BA.

    Fecking awful!

  9. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    BA is a victim of appalling internal staff management.

    BA treat their staff like serfs, the staff don't care about the company because loyalty cuts both ways, hence the staff are rude to the passengers as they have little pride.

    I know this is a generalisation but it is generally my experience.

    i have had some good BA flights over the years but they have all been on routes where the competition has a superb reputation such as to Singapore, Hong Kong etc.

    If you fly on a monopoly route or one where the competition is strapped for cash such as transatlantic then you get cattle truck treatment, surly staff and Service With A Sneer.
  10. Perhaps a name change might be in order?

    I mean if you think of all the companies that are or have been named British xxxx then there is some sort of jink on it.

    British Rail
    British Steel
    British Petroleum
    etc etc
  11. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I stopped using BA when they decided that 'economy' class customers were not the sort of customers they wanted, and then upped the price.

    If 'British' airways only wants to cater to the well heeled, (and I am, a bit), then they are not representative of the word 'British'.

    Richard Branson is THE MAN and I'm more than happy to give him my money.
  12. BA's 747s are the most uncomfortable I've flown in, and the cabin crew the most surly. I've heard similar announcements to A_M above, although worse from an American Airlines stewardess (AA is undoubtedly the worst of the worst for food). I'd fly Virgin but for the fact that they seem to organise their schedules to waste as much daytime as possible. Heathrow is a disgrace, though, as are Gatwick and Stansted. If only it was possible to fly direct to the rest of the world from Belfast City...
  13. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Runs good trains too...wonder how he'd be at running the country...
  14. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Don't be silly! That would be like Dannat or that fellah from the LibDems running the country - FAR too sensible.
  15. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    Fly cattle class and guess what you get treat like?